In a recent answer, I cited a book like:

SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition's chapter 2, section 2.4. Authentication by Cryptographic Key, Page 26, it says:

Some Text

What is the best way to cite a book? Do I need to be formal here (like using APA)?


1 Answer 1


Use an internally consistent style.

The best way to cite any book is any citation style that is internally consistent and visibly prevents plagiarism — it contains all information essential to identify the source and prevents conflicting information. Many communities have some standards, some have multiply standards, but one can adjust to them later or have others help you out if there should be any site in our network that tries to enforce any one style in particular.

There are a few styles that make accessibility worse, in particular for screen-readers, see Making Citations Accessible — It would be useful to avoid those citation styles from the get-go.

Adhering to a formal style often keeps relevant information in the citations by default. While many citation styles are conflicting about which information is relevant, most contain enough information to make the source researchable/validatable, so they are a good choice.

  • 2
    Re "Many communities have some standards": Can you be more specific in your answer? Do you mean Stack Exchange communities? What are some examples of such communities and standards? Dec 29, 2021 at 13:46

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